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Child Safety


posted Dec 6, 2016, 12:24 PM by Jonathan Yoesting

Published Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Committed to corporate citizenship, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is encouraging its nearly 7,000 employees across the United States to participate in the online Stewards of Children training to combat child sexual abuse.

“We are pleased to partner with Konica Minolta in this endeavor and hope that other employers are inspired to follow suit,’’ said Maureen Simons, senior director of child safety at the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, the largest association of all the YMCAs in the state of New Jersey. “Konica Minolta recognizes that child sexual abuse, perpetrated in the shadows, can be prevented when caring adults learn to recognize the signs and intervene to protect children.”

Konica Minolta is demonstrating its leadership in social awareness by offering its employees Stewards of Children training, created by the nonprofit Darkness to Light. The Metro YMCA has trained more than 2,000 adults, including 97 percent of its 1,000-member staff, in the Stewards of Children curriculum.

“Upon learning about the course and the great impact it has on raising awareness and providing knowledge which results in the reduction of child sexual abuse, we became interested in helping the Metro YMCA meet their goal of having 5 percent of New Jersey adults take the course by the end of 2015,” says Kevin Kern, Konica Minolta senior vice president for marketing. “This course offers valuable information to all adults, and employee participation is important in helping to promote optimal well-being and development of children in the community.” 

Konica Minolta employees have a track record of participating in community initiatives and many employees consider the company’s commitment to being a good corporate citizen one of the best parts about working there, Kern said.  Konica Minolta conducts several initiatives each year, mostly geared towards education, STEM education and hunger relief.

The Metro Y continues to spread the word about child sexual abuse through its ‘Kids Matter’ campaign. Simons has met with parent-teacher associations and scheduled trainings for staff of the Maplewood and East Orange libraries. Educators in several school districts and the South Orange Library staff have completed the training, which can be done online or in-person.

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company’s donation of $3,000, in addition to the $1,000 donation from the South Orange Rotary, is being used to cover the cost of materials for community trainings.

Any New Jersey resident can take the two-hour online version of the course for free and information on in-person training sessions can be found at:

40 People Arrested in Massive NJ Child Porn Crack Down

posted Aug 18, 2016, 1:43 PM by

After a six-month investigation, 40 men ranging in age from 20 to 72 were arrested for child pornography.  These men came from all 21 counties in New Jersey.  As reinforcement to what we learn in our trainings, these offenders represent all walks of life. One a former school teacher, construction workers, white collar professional and a custodian for a school system. For more on this article, use the link below.

Your dedication to the safety of children in our care is always appreciated.

What can be learned?

posted Jul 12, 2016, 7:47 AM by   [ updated Jul 12, 2016, 8:00 AM ]

Camp season is in full bloom and with the thousands of kids in our care, reading about an alleged incident of child sexual assault at the Raleigh Y is unsettling.  Being fully aware that we are only hearing one side to this story and will not know the full details of how this situation was handled, there are many points to highlight and question.  I hope as you read it, certain items jump out to you?

We know that it only takes a minute for children to get themselves into trouble.   My first question is what happened to the supervision?  Why was the mother the person interrupting the alleged assault and not the Y staff?  It is so important to ensure line-of-sight supervision, maintain proper ratios and when possible separate different age groups.

The article is full with disparaging statements from the mother about how the Y staff responded to and insisted on downplaying the incident.  I quote, “They don’t seem (The Y) to have safety of these kids as their top concern at all.  They seem to be concerned about protecting themselves and their organization”.  

While no organization is 100% immune from this type of incident, how we react and address the issue can make all the difference. Our culture of safety must go beyond our words and policies.  It is our actions related to supervision, training and comprehension, accountability and communication that will have the greatest impact on our ability to keep children safe. Please read the article and use it as a teachable moment to reinforce our commitment to child safety.   Click Here for article.

A Win for New Jersey Advocacy Centers

posted Jun 28, 2016, 8:50 AM by   [ updated Jun 28, 2016, 8:53 AM ]

Roughly 12,000 New Jersey children fall victim to some form of abuse each year.  For each case reported, advocates say many more cases go undocumented.  The New Jersey Children's Alliance (NJCA) along with Senator Stephen Sweeney brought forth Bill S972 to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.  This bill will appropriate $10 million into a child advocacy multi-disciplinary team fund.  These funds will go toward creating a statewide system of child abuse prevention services.

At the Y we are fortunate to have two Child Advocacy Centers in our counties to support us in such cases - Winona's House in Newark and Ginnie's House in Newton.  Child advocacy centers provide a child focused approach to dealing with child abuse.

The Bill has passed out of Committee and will now go to the Governor's office.  Click here for a video with more information. 

Thank You for Your Pledge to Protect Children

posted Jun 28, 2016, 8:20 AM by   [ updated Jun 28, 2016, 8:37 AM ]

In recognition of April being Child Abuse Prevention month, the Y raised community awareness by Pledging to Protect Children.  Thank you if you took the pledge and know that you are one of over 1900 individuals committed to proudly protecting children. Click this link, to see our Thank You video.

Watch video on YouTube

Take the Kids Matter Pledge 2016

posted Jun 2, 2016, 9:18 AM by Jonathan Yoesting

Pledge Progress: Day 3

We were honored to have Kevin Washington, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA and Rick Gorab, President and CEO of the Metro Y of the Oranges sign their pledge cards to protect children.  
The pledge to protect children is available to take online. Here is the address for you to share -

Here are links to hard copies that can be printed.
Commitment Tile


Kevin Washington, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA holding his signed pledge card to protect children (pictured with yours truly).

Rick Gorab, President and CEO of Metro Y of the Oranges kicks of the Association Campaign by proudly showing off his signed pledge to protect children.

Some of the 72 pledge cards that Association Services staff have collected since the start of the pledge drive.  How many pledges have you collected?

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